Believing in our ability to transcend our circumstances and find peace in hearts regardless of them is the first step to accept the things you cannot change.
We often see our problems as things that block us from getting what we want. But what if our trials were part of the path and not detours? Things to carve us into the person we’re meant to be to live the life we’re meant to?
The common idea that we are limitless is not true. We cannot fly without an airplane. We cannot live constantly on-the-go; we must care for our bodies, giving them food and water and rest. Sometimes, the most pivotal experiences in our lives are things beyond our control.
Thinking that we are limitless encourages us to throw ourselves against brick walls. Instead, we often need to move over a few feet and find a new opening. Accept the things you cannot change instead of plow through them, trying to control everything.
Our lives come with certain constrains, challenges and lessons. To access our true nature of boundlessness, which comes when we fully merge with the divine, we must first accept our limits. Our limits are the things we cannot change.
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Here is a process designed to help you accept the things you cannot change:
1. Accept your feelings
The first step to accepting a situation is accepting your feelings about this situation. You may be angry or sad or anxious, but accepting how you feel creates a foundation for acceptance, forgiveness, and eventually, moving on.
You cannot change this thing, and you also cannot change your feelings. So acknowledge how you feel and your right to feel that way.
Try meditating, placing your awareness on the inside of your body, noticing feelings or other sensations and breathing into them as they arise. Another option is to journal. Start by writing down the specific situation you’re working to accept, and then write “This makes me feel…”
2. Quiet your thoughts
Accepting your feelings does not mean letting your mind run wild in response to them. Feelings and thoughts are separate, even though it often seems they are one.
Although it can be good to analyze situations to learn from them, allowing the mind to pursue damaging tangents isn’t healing or productive, only self-sabotaging. When we feel emotional pain, painful thoughts naturally arise. By feeling the emotion, we heal the painful energy and clear space for logical thought, not pained thought.
While it’s important to honor our emotions, it’s important to recognize that thoughts sometimes prevent you from learning how to accept the things you cannot change. They keep you in resistance.
Meditate, do yoga, or journal to process your emotions. Notice your thoughts, but don’t believe them. Trust that greater insight and answers are coming.
3. Ask for help
The divine is always there to help us. So often, we try to bear our burdens alone, forgetting to ask for help. When we feel overwhelmed, it’s so nice to close the eyes and offer up our problems to the infinite source.
Saying, “I feel overwhelmed. Please help me see this differently,” puts our problems in perspective. It helps us realize that we aren’t alone, that the trials we endure have purpose, and it opens the door to divine intervention.
This intervention isn’t about the possibility of our problems being lifted away from us, but instead carries the seed of a different perspective, one that can help us heal and learn the lessons.
Sometimes, when we ask for help, we receive guidance from a book or conversation that shifts our perspective to see our trials in a more loving way. Other times, we simply receive a new idea. Asking for help increases the likelihood we will receive it.
4. Cultivate gratitude for the challenge
On the spiritual path, there’s a special belief that is very powerful for increasing our ability to transcend a life situation and find the blessings. It’s the belief that our challenges are teachers.
When we believe life’s difficulties are lessons and not punishments, we’re better able to learn from them and rebound not more brittle, but more open and compassionate. When we understand that life involves growth, difficult situations don’t surprise us, but instead signal that it’s time to gear up for the tough work this path requires.
Having faith that every difficulty contains a blessing will help you accept the things you cannot change. Walk through the storm knowing there’s peace and maybe even a rainbow on the other side.
It takes time for the lessons to come or for new opportunities to come into view, but in the meantime, practice cultivating gratitude for this teacher and faith that you will emerge stronger and wiser. Faith in the path helps us through the most trying times. Gratitude also helps us forgive ourselves and others.
5. Look for possibility
Like water in a river that flows around fallen branches, in our lives, we must learn to stop working so hard to clear the road before us when sometimes we need to simply flow around. When our sight is directed at clearing these hurdles, it blocks us from seeing the openings next to the problem that beckon us to them. Working to remove blocks keeps us in resistance, when we must practice acceptance for the things we cannot change.
Cultivating gratitude for the challenge and looking for the lessons it contains prepares us for this step, finding the possibility.
Potential varies depending on the circumstance, but a few possibilities include:
- An opportunity for reflection and refining what is truly meaningful for you
- The potential to let go and clear space for something new
- The chance to see how strong you are and learn deep wisdom that will serve you for the rest of your life
- An opportunity to go in a new direction
As you heal and grow into new possibilities, which often mark the next chapter of expansion and blessing, the things you once could not accept potentially turn into the biggest blessings of your life.
How do you accept the things you cannot change? What stories do you have of burdens turned blessings? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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